February 28, 2014

UMBC Can’t Hold Off William and Mary’s Late Rally, Falls 2-1 in Season Opener

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – UMBC senior pitcher Mac Gill (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson) tossed six innings of shutout ball, but William and Mary rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth to defeat the Retrievers, 2-1, Friday afternoon at Plumeri Park in UMBC's season opener.

Junior Bobby Applegate (Somerdale, N.J./Sterling/Gloucester CC) took the loss for UMBC (0-1) after putting on the first two hitters of the ninth, both of whom scored.  Applegate (0-1) escaped trouble early in his outing, but settled down nicely, striking out four. 

Joseph Gaouette (2-0) earned the win out of the bullpen for William and Mary (4-4) after pitching one shutout inning.  Starter Jason Inghram was no-decisioned after giving up just one unearned run on one hit.

Gill shut the Tribe out in his second consecutive season-opening outing.  Last season, Gill took the ball in UMBC's opener against No. 10 N.C. State, a 5-3 loss in Myrtle Beach, S.C., throwing 5.1 innings and giving up just two earned runs.  This time around, the right-hander limited the Tribe throughout his six innings of work, scattering six hits and not walking a batter.

Inghram was equally effective for the hosts, giving up just one hit, a two-out single to sophomore Kevin Lachance (Clifton, Va./Centreville) in eight innings.

It was the Retrievers who broke through first, however, crossing the plate once in the top of the fourth.  Senior Rob McCabe (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joseph's Prep) started the inning with a four-pitch walk and junior Vince Corbi (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) then reached on an error to give the Retrievers two on with none out.  After McCabe advanced to third on a wild pitch, he raced home on a double-play ball to give UMBC the lead.

Gill continued to keep the Tribe at bay, allowing just two more base runners in the next three frames.

In the sixth, Gill got Kevin Nutter to ground out weakly, but Willie Shaw followed by pulling a single to right.  The veteran righty avoided any trouble, though, inducing a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Ryan Lindemuth.

Gatto was hit by a pitch with two away in the seventh, but UMBC could not capitalize.  Applegate entered in the bottom half and continued where Gill left off.  After Michael Katz welcomed the right-hander with a single to left, Applegate struck out the next three batters in order to preserve the lead.

Neither team made a push in the eighth, with the Tribe only getting a two out single from Nutter.

The Retrievers threatened in the top of the ninth as sophomore Mark Esposito (Bethany, Conn./Amity Regional) led off the inning with an infield single.  McCabe then laid down a sac bunt, but the Tribe third baseman made an errant play.  Corbi followed with a sacrifice, sending Esposito to third and McCabe to second.  The rally ended there, however, as Inghram got a ground out and strike out to end the threat.

The Tribe made the visitors pay in the bottom half as Lindemuth started the rally by drawing a walk.  Katz then doubled to send Lindemuth to third and knock out Applegate.  Sophomore Denis Mikush (Burke, Va./Robinson) entered for the Black and Gold and struck out Thompson looking on a 3-2 pitch.  White then reached on an error and Lindemuth took advantage to score from third.  Kevin Casey followed with a bunt and Katz came home with the winning run.

UMBC and William and Mary continue their series on Saturday afternoon at Plumeri Park.  First pitch between the Retrievers and Tribe is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.

DAWG BITES

-          William and Mary now leads the all-time series, 11-2. 

-          Nine of the 13 all-time meetings between the two clubs have come during the month of February.

-          UMBC has not won its season-opening game since 2001 when the Retrievers defeated Georgetown, 19-9.